Next to the scramble golf tournament the best ball style of play might be the most popular format for golf events. Perhaps the reason for the popularity of this style of play is the flexibility that it offers while allowing each participant to feel they have completed a full round of golf. Best ball tournaments can be played with 2 person, 3 person, or 4 person teams. The score on each hole is determined by the player who has the fewest number of strokes for the given hole. For example if players were in a four person even and player 1 made a score of six, player 2 made a score of five, player three only needed four strokes to hole out, and player 4 only took three strokes to hole out, in this situation the team score would be three. The lowest score for each hole will be recorded on the score card, however each individual player may keep track of their own score if they would like. When playing in a two person match play round this style of play is also known as four ball.
Best ball is normally used in stroke play events so the tournament winner can be decided by adding up the scores at the end with the lowest card winning. The format can also be used for match play, however many holes will be halved if there are more than two people in each team making the event longer than necessary as the teams may have to use extra holes to determine the winner of the match.
Best ball can also refer to a round of golf where one player is playing against two or three others. This format is best used when there is a low handicap golfer playing in a group of people that have higher handicaps. The lone golfer will obviously always use their score on a given hole however the team they are playing against is allowed to use the lowest score produced by either person on the team.